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Three-quarters of workers still go into work even if they have a cold

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And 38 percent of those with co-workers make a point of coming in just to show them and their boss that they are genuinely unwell.

Fears over being seen as “unreliable” (42 percent), leaving others in the lurch (41 percent), and having too much to do (34 percent), are also reasons for not calling in sick.

The study, commissioned by cough brand Bronchostop, also found 21 percent want to show how dedicated they are, while 18 percent don’t trust others to do their work properly.

But 59 percent also feel the best way to get over a cold is to carry on regardless, and 61 percent convince themselves they’re not actually that ill.

However, 43 percent think it’s “selfish” when colleagues come in when ill – with coughing found to be the biggest annoyance.

Not covering their mouth when coughing or sneezing (46 percent), and failing to wash their hands afterwards (36 percent), are also common frustrations, as is not using tissues (35 percent).

Farah Ali, superintendent pharmacist and spokesman for Bronchostop, said: “In the last couple of years, the perception of the common cough or cold has changed.

“With more flexible working in place, and a heightened focus on wellbeing, many feel as though colleagues who are feeling under the weather should be staying at home to rest and recuperate.”

The study also found half of adults (49 percent) working with colleagues wouldn’t have any qualms telling a poorly co-worker they should have stayed at home.

And possibly with good reason, as 48 percent believe they’ve picked up a cold from a colleague in the past 12 months.

However, many of those polled don’t seem to apply the same level of understanding to themselves.

During the last 12 months, the average worker has been to work an average of four times with symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, headache, or sore throat.

The research, carried out through OnePoll, also found 24 percent of those who have had a cold have actively tried to keep their condition a secret.

Wanting to be seen as trustworthy (31 percent), and working in a competitive job (29 percent), are among the reasons why.

Farah Ali added: “This peak cough and cold season, it’s so important to look after yourself when you feel common cold symptoms, such as a cough, coming on, and to take precautions if you do need to go into work.

“That might be taking some appropriate medicine, keeping your distance from co-workers, and remembering to wash your hands to keep germs away.”

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  • Posted on February 2, 2023